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Passover Panic! (vent)

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by Yocheved, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Yocheved

    Yocheved Spoonless In Seattle

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    I'm Orthodox Jewish, and a bit of an overachiever when it comes to the holidays. I have a serious love/hate relationship with Passover. Each year it gets harder and harder to clean, cook, and prepare all the the things that need to be done properly.

    Last year I did it all, and as soon as I lit candles I had a complete relapse. I don't remember much of those 8 days, except being mostly bed bound and miserable. All my friends were taking their kids to special outings on the intermediate days, and I could barely move a muscle. My poor daughter felt left out and bored to tears because all her friends were away. My husband tried to make the best of it, bless him.

    This year, I'm terrified. My husband has offered to hire a cleaning lady to come in for a couple of days to get the major stuff done, but that still leaves me with the final cleaning, all the cooking, etc. To make matters worse, the house is small, and horrible crowded and cluttered. I have no idea how I'm going to tackle all the mess.I really want to go away for Passover, maybe stay with some of his relatives, but traveling and being away from home stresses me out a lot, too.

    I know G-d doesn't want me to make myself sicker while trying to keep the Holidays, but I'm not sure what the right compromise is. AAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!
  2. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    Planning and pacing is the only answer.
    Start very early, do things in little bits at a time, make good use of the freezer.
    Don't bother about the "final" cleaning. Leave out all but the most essential and basic stuff.
    Get the cleaning lady to tidy the clutter.

    I'll bet the clutter isn't nearly as bad as you think it is - if you're talking about doing "final cleanings" you're probably a little bit of a "neat-freak" - please, don't take that as an insult. :hug:
    I know loads of folk who think that vacuuming once a day is normal, as is ironing sheets, pillowcases and underwear or washing down the skirting boards weekly.


    I vacuum once a month - ish, I don't iron anything, skirting boards only get washed before they're painted.
    I'd hate to think about what you'd say about my clutter and mess. :oops:

    You just need to drop your standards a bit. It's the only way to save your health.
    I'm sure that's not what you want to hear though, I'm sorry. I'm sure mess and clutter and "not having the final cleaning done" will probably bother you a lot.

    I think trying to stop it bothering you would be a very good start. Good luck. I hope you manage to find some compromise.
  3. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    Maybe get the cleaner to help and tackle a bit of it yourself, but draw a line in advance of where to stop. Settle for an improvement, but not to the usual standard. It's about what is achievable without overdoing it. Same with the food - don't go all out. Same with the outings, do some but not all and pace yourself. It's hard to do this, I know, but it's better than overdoing it and it ending up like last time.
    Yocheved and peggy-sue like this.
  4. vamah

    vamah Senior Member

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    It sounds to me like going away might stress you out less than staying home. If you do stay home, do you have to have the Seder at your house or do you have friends/family nearby who can host your family if you bring a couple of dishes? If just the thought of getting the house ready for a Seder gets you this stressed out you are going to make yourself terribly sick before you even start, so I would say don't host this year.
    taniaaust1 and Yocheved like this.
  5. Yocheved

    Yocheved Spoonless In Seattle

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    I just found out that we're going to be staying home, all DH's kids are going to a hotel for Pesach. We'll be going out for first night seder, and we usually do the second seder at home so we can do it quick and I can get straight to bed. We don't have anyone to go to for second seder because they either have family in town, or they live too far away for me to walk. Our eruv is over a mile and a half long, and I can only manage about 5 blocks.

    Oy, next year in Jerusalem - so we can only have one seder!
  6. vamah

    vamah Senior Member

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    Sounds like, while not ideal, this arrangement will take some pressure off you. Dayenu! :)
    Yocheved likes this.
  7. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Hi Yocheved,

    Welcome too the forum.

    I too am an Orthododox Jew. I can TOTALLY relate. I think that this time of the year is so overwhelming for most Orthodox Jewish women. I always relapse this time of the year. Last year was the worst. I was so ill already before
    Pesach and I had my three married children and grandchildren coming to me for the meals. It was way too much and I suffered greatly for a very long time.

    I agree with you - this is not what God wants. We have to take steps to ease this process as much as we can.
    I would not stress out about the house and clutter. I would just key in, on the kitchen and pure chometz (leaven). Don't compare yourself to healthy women around you. We have to stay within our limitations. A cleaning woman can do your kitchen with your supervision.

    I too can only manage about a 10 minute walk (we cannot drive on the holiday - only walk). Luckily, my daughters live nearby and we will be going to them for the meals the first time this year.

    Actually, a small Seder at home sounds good. I'm not sure where you live but, to make it easier on yourself, can you buy some take-out?

    Most importantly, the stress that precedes the holiday, I believe, is the most damaging. It is so important to try to keep calm about it as much as possible.

    I agree- L'shana haba'a, biyerushalayim habnuya!
    Yocheved likes this.
  8. Shoesies

    Shoesies Senior Member

    I am not Orthodox, but we celebrate the feasts with our family and our brothers and sisters in the faith at their meeting place in TN. This year I cannot attend as I am currently in relapse. Though we are not preparing for the Seder at our home, it is still stressful to get there...and if we do not our family is saddened. It is a losing proposition all around.
  9. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    When I was thinking of converting, one of the concerns I had was that I would not be able to observe everything properly because of ME/CFS. A rabbi told me that I shouldn't worry about that, because Hashem understands fully and only demands of the person what they are genuinely able to do. If I were you, I would take a huge load off myself and only do what you can honestly do without making yourself worse. That's all that's required! Enjoy the holiday. :)
    redrachel76, Tristen, maryb and 2 others like this.
  10. Yocheved

    Yocheved Spoonless In Seattle

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    Thank you for your sweet words! What beis din are you going through? Have you been dunked yet? (sorry if I'm being nosy, you can PM me if you'd rather not say publicly) ;)
  11. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    No, have not dunked. ;-) After much reflection and prayer, the message I got was that I should remain ger toshav (noachide) and not convert. I really love Judaism, only I follow it from the standpoint of being a Gentile. :)
  12. Nielk

    Nielk

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    7 laws - compared to 613. A no-brainer.
    The Spitfire and Yocheved like this.
  13. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Haha! Exactly! :D

    Actually the message I got was, "the Jews have enough problems without you converting." Ha! : P
  14. Yocheved

    Yocheved Spoonless In Seattle

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    You have your place in the World to Come, my friend. Seriously, sometimes "friends of the family" are much better than the relatives you're stuck with! :cautious:

    Nice to know you. :hug:
    jeffrez and Nielk like this.
  15. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Yocheved,

    I hope your house looks like this. ;) Happy Passover.
    [​IMG]
    maryb likes this.

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